Nirav Modi is in London seeking political asylum in the country, confirmed a Minister in the British government.
According to reports, British Minister of State for Countering Extremism Baroness Williams assured Minister of State for Home Affairs Kirren Rijiju of Britain’s full cooperation on India’s requests to extradite both Modi and Vijya Mallya, who, too, is in London.
Earlier on Monday, the Financial Times had reported that absconding fugitive Nirav Modi had fled to the UK seeking political asylum. Modi is the third Indian fugitive after Mallya and former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi to have fled to the European country.
Within hours, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) requested the Interpol to issue a Red Corner Notice against Nirav Modi in the over Rs 13,000 crore banking scam involving Punjab National Bank (PNB).
The agency has written to the Interpol to issue the notice which would mean that the member countries of the Lyon-based international police cooperation agency can arrest and extradite Nirav Modi who fled the country in the first week of January, weeks before the bank filed a complaint with the CBI.
In his meeting, Rijiju told Williams that Britain should not be viewed as a safe haven for those wanted by the law of the other country for various offences.
He said that while India respects the courts and will pursue the legal procedures in Britain to bring back wanted men, New Delhi expects the cooperation of the UK Government.
Rijiju assured Williams that there are absolute safeguards against Human Rights violations in Indian prisons allaying concerns over prison conditions in India.
Nirav Modi was last publicly seen in a Press Information Bureau group photograph of CEOs and top brass of Indian corporate sector with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Davos, Switzerland.
A week later, the CBI registered an FIR against him on the basis of complaint against him and his uncle Mehul Choksi.
The two have been accused by the PNB of defrauding the bank of about Rs 13,000 crore over several years by raising credit from overseas branches of other Indian banks through fraudulent Letters of Undertakings (LoUs) and Foreign Letters of Credit (FLCs) issued by rogue PNB staff at a Mumbai branch.
His brother and wife were also named as accused in the FIR. All of them fled India in the first week of January.
Earlier, it was reported that Nirav Modi was in London on a Singaporean passport while his brother Nishal Modi was in Antwerp on a Belgian passport.
The ED last month filed its first chargesheet in the case saying about 12,000-page chargesheet or the prosecution complaint has been filed before a special court in Mumbai under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
(With inputs from agencies.)